There are many motivations for volunteering: achievement, power, affiliation, recognition, and altruism.
This functional approach identifies six categories of motivations for volunteers: values, understanding, enhancement, career, social and protective.
Values refers to people acting on values they find important, such as volunteering for altruistic purposes.
Understanding is what people are seeking as volunteers when they use volunteering as a learning experience, or to gain knowledge.
Enhancement is an objective for those seeking to raise their self-esteem by volunteering.
Career motivations are when people volunteer to gain experience that will positively affect their professional careers.
Fitting in or being part of a social group constitutes the Social function.
Those who engage in volunteer activities for the Protective function are looking to reduce personal feeling of insecurity or guilt.